Nicki Arguin's BHS field hockey team advanced to the semi-finals of the Division 3 State Championships with a 3-0 win over White Mountains Regional at home on Friday, and than a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over previously undefeated Newfound, and a long-time rivalry of the Mountaineers, on Sunday.
In the win over the Spartans, Berlin (8-4) scored at 7:27 of the first half when Mia Letourneau on a corner got the ball to Kenna Balderrama who promptly got the ball to Mick Walsh at the top of the circle for a score. The Mountaineers added to that lead with two goals in the second half when Emily Roy passed the ball to Balderrama who pushed the ball to Cienna Langlais who redirected it into the back of the net, and then Lelieh Horne, from the top right side of the circle, passed to Langlais and she redirected it to Kelly McCormick for the final score to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 win.
Luma Berry had two saves for Berlin, while Jen Fowler had 29. Berlin out-cornered the Spartans 9-3.
On a cool, yet beautiful late October afternoon on Sunday, the Mountaineers won a tense, yet thrilling 2-1 overtime game against Newfound. After a scoreless first half, Berlin got things going, when at 3:36 Balderrama and Roy got the ball to Langlais who redirected the last pass to give Berlin a short 1-0 lead.
At 8:51 Newfound tied things up at one apiece and play remained equal through the remainder of regulation play. Mick Walsh put the finishing touches on the game after Becca Pouliot redirected a pass to Baldarrama who passed to Walsh. Walsh took a hard shot, wisely followed it in and got the rebound and scored the game-winner, much to the delight of all in attendance.
Both goalies had seven saves, Berry for Berlin, and Alyssa McDorough for the Bears with the locals having a 9-4 advantage in corners.
With that sensational win Berlin now advances to the semifinals and will play the winner of Hopkinton and Bishop Brady, which was held Monday afternoon.
In regular season action, the Berlin girl's soccer team won two out of their last three games, besting White Mountain Regional 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 21 in Whitefield, and then a nice 2-0 whitewash of Laconia at home on Friday.
In the game versus White Mountains, this was the second time the teams played that week, with the first game being won 2-1 by the Regional on Oct. 24 when the Spartans scored the winning goal with 10 seconds to play.
Berlin was able to duplicate that in their favor, when Abby Blais picked the perfect opportunity to score her first varsity career goal with the game-winner with 4 seconds to go in overtime!
White Mountain scored the first goal of that game early in the first half, by Morgan Doolan. Jill Hallee tied it up shortly after with an assist going to Ava Bartoli. A handball in the penalty area gave Berlin a penalty kick, and Grace Bradley made no mistake, scoring to give the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead heading into the second half.
Early in the second half, Spartan Lilly Kenison tied things up at 2-2 and for the rest of regulation time both teams battled back and forth with no further scoring. Berlin had a number of golden opportunities to score in the overtime session, and at 9:56, Blais scored to give her team a huge overtime victory.
Chloe Dagasse has 13 saves, with her team having 15 shots on goal.
Coach Al Woodward was pleased with the win, saying, "It was great to see the girls play a solid game and come out with a big win. Everyone played with obvious energy and enthusiasm."
The locals followed that big win with the 2-0 shutout over Laconia in the final regular season game. Berlin came out firing, carried the play early and forced the Laconia goalie and her defense to make some important saves. At the 15-minute mark, Berlin's Ava Bartoli broke in alone and scored an unassisted, and game-winning goal, to give her team a 1-0 lead, going into the halftime break.
Second half action saw the sun going down behind Mount Forest, and the momentum going to Laconia early on. But Berlin's defense held its own and eventually at the 18-minute mark, Aubree Poirier sent the ball to Bartoli who carried it up and sent a nice through pass to Jill Hallee, who used her speed and some nifty moves followed by a solid shot into the right corner to give the Mountaineers a little breathing room. Shortly after the game was called due to darkness with Berlin holding on for that 2-0 win.
Dagesse had nine great saves, and her team had 16 shots on goal.
"This was our second win in two days and is certainly a great way to end the regular season and we are now excited for tournament time, and going in on a high note,” Coach Woodward said,
Berlin ended the regular season at 4-8, although their last 4 losses were all by just one goal, plus the overtime win and 2-0 win. They get to play White Mountain one more time, this time in tourney action, at home on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Other end-of-the-season action saw Tony Valliere's Berlin boys’ soccer team lose at home to White Mountain 3-2 on Oct. 21 and then tie Laconia 2-2 at home on Friday.
The 7-4-1 Mountaineers wee scheduled to played White Mountains (2-5-1) in the first round of Division III playoff Monday. Check out the results on the NHIAA website or read about it on Thursday.
Both Gorham soccer teams lost to Groveton on the road on Thursday, the girls by a 3-2 score and the boys, 2-1.
For Chris Partenope's Gorham girls (3-6-1, three of those losses by one goal), tournament action begins on Thursday when they host the winner of Tuesday’s Pittsburg-Canaan and Littleton match.
Tina Binette's boys (2-5-1) is scheduled to host Colebrook on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Finally, Bob Lord's Berlin High cross-country team is gearing up and prepping for the Division III and IV state races this Saturday at Derryfield Park in Manchester.
I heard that "The Land" topped a field of 7 teams to win a late fall Co-Ed softball tournament this past weekend.
Have a great day Olive Hancock and Virginia Vachon!